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Reality Principles: From the Absurd to the VirtualHerbert Blau 2011
—Peggy Phelan, Stanford University
Reality Principles gathers recent essays by esteemed scholar and theater practitioner Herbert Blau covering a range of topics. The book's provocative essays—including "The Emotional Memory of Directing," "The Faith-Based Initiative of the Theater of the Absurd," "Virtually Yours: Presence, Liveness, Lessness," "The Human Nature of the Bot"—were given as keynotes and/or memorial lectures and are collected here for the first time. The essays take up a remarkable array of topics—from body art and the self-inflicted punishments of Stelarc, Orlan, and the Viennese Actionists, to Ground Zero and 9/11—and allow Blau to address critical questions of theater and theory, performance and relevance, the absurd and the virtual, history and illusion, community and memory. Reality Principles offers a panoramic view of Herbert Blau's perspectives on life and the imitation of life on stage.